Their little bones litter the world;
their flesh fills the bellies of foxes and owls.
They are Nature’s Fast Food.
My cats eat them on the cellar steps.
My dog digs their nests from the tall grass.
They are a pestilence: they leave
droppings in the drawers,
seeds hidden in the mitten basket,
shredded insulation in the basement,
their musky stench wherever they go.
We lie awake and hear them scrabbling in the dark.
Killing these people is hard.
They have hands like my own in miniature,
so fragile a baby could pinch one away.
Their eyes, shining up from the depths of a birdseed bag
plead But we were hungry, and you have so much.
They speak to one another between the walls
so high that we cannot hear.
They make their livings from the leavings of our lives.
I am setting another trap tonight.
O please let there be a Master Mouse,
a gargantuan Platonic Mouse scampering through the ether,
a joyful and Forgiving Mouse,
its emanations sprouting up like mushrooms from mycelium,
so numerous they don’t mind their little deaths.
In the presence of such a Mouse I too shall scamper,
squeak out my delight in the general delicacy of things.